More Separation Between Pedestrians & Cyclists

Update 28/02/2014: Article in the Bristol Post.

The Living Heart campaign has issued the following statement which has been endorsed by us at BCyC, with the caveat that we don’t want to see any No Cycling signs, preferring that desirable routes are signed to encourage cycles away from crowded pedestrian areas (such as Broadmead).


The Living Heart for Bristol has called for a change of policy on the sharing or separation of cyclists and pedestrians.  The Living Heart includes pedestrian and cycling organisations amongst its members.  As the Council is examining new plans for The Centre, and various new cycle routes, the Living Heart has called for “clear cycle routes through pedestrian areas instead of the current free-for-all”.  Pointing to best practice in European cities, the Living Heart has published a list of places where better separation is needed, including The Centre, Broadmead, the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path and Old Market. 

Details and examples are shown on our website.  This argues that “where volumes are high, and space is limited, separation is better than sharing…If space is in short supply, planners should look to remove space from general traffic rather than squeezing cyclists and pedestrians together.”  The neighbourhood plan for Old Market is showing a narrowing from four to two lanes, which the Living Heart would support, but surprisingly, no cycle path.

Spokesman Steve Melia said:

“This country has suffered from many silly fashions in planning and urban design.  One of these is the idea that it’s good to force cyclists and pedestrians to share space.  This policy is failing.  It is causing unnecessary conflict.  To achieve the sort of liveable city we all want, we need a new approach, building clearly marked, separating cyclists and pedestrians where volumes are high, and giving more space to both.  European cities like Groningen and Odense can show us how it can be done.  There are even some reasonable examples in Bristol: the separate cycle path through Castle Park, for example.”

Sue Carter of the Ramblers Association said:

“Walking in Bristol should be an  enjoyable experience. All too often,  competing for space with cyclists – as well as contending with cars, traffic signals and other pedestrians  – makes it very stressful. We need cycling and walking routes to be clearly separated”

Martin Tweddell of the Bristol Cycling Campaign said:

“Living Heart’s idea to separate cycling and walking in busy areas is a very sensible one which would come at minimal cost to the city and is supported by BCyC in our Freedom to Ride Manifesto

Steve Melia added:

“Where the organisations representing pedestrians and cyclists are both saying the same thing, it’s time for transport planners and urban designers to take notice.”